30-Hour-Old Newborn Becomes Youngest Person Diagnosed With Coronavirus

According to Chinese state media, Xinhua, a newborn has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus just 30 hours after birth, the youngest case recorded so far.

The baby was born on 2 February in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

The baby’s mother tested positive before she gave birth and it is unclear how the disease was transmitted – in the womb, or after birth.

Only a handful of children have come down with the virus, which has killed 565 people and infected 28,018.

All but one of the deaths were in China.

Xinhua reported news of the infection late on Wednesday.

It added that the baby, who weighed 3.25kg at birth (7lbs 2oz), was now in a stable condition and under observation.

Medical experts say it could be a case where the infection was contracted in the womb.

Chief physician of Wuhan Children Hospital’s neonatal medicine department, Zeng Lingkong, told newsmen that, “This reminds us to pay attention to mother-to-child being a possible route of coronavirus transmission”.

But it is also possible that the baby was infected after birth from having close contact with the mother.

An epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Stephen Morse, explained that, “It’s quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally – by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing”.

Reports add that very few children have tested positive in this recent outbreak, which is consistent with other coronavirus outbreaks in recent history including Sars and Mers.

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